Central bank tightens rules on accepting cards and cash in Chinese stores

As China goes increasingly cashless, PBOC says cash payment is still alive — South China Morning Post — “The central bank in China, the world’s largest mobile payment market, is urging individuals and companies to not refuse or discriminate against cash payment… The PBOC said cash should be accepted alongside the debit card at all business outlets, with the exception of e-commerce and unstaffed stores. Businesses have one month from Friday to make necessary adjustments to avoid being investigated for breaches by the authorities.”


Marriott to let Chinese guests use face recognition to check in to its hotels

Joint venture of Alibaba Group and Marriott International trials facial recognition check-in technology — Marriott International — “The pilot will kick off from July 2018 at two Marriott International properties in China — Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, with the goal of global rollout across Marriott International’s properties in the future… Chinese guests simply need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on a self-help machine. The intelligent device will then dispense room key cards after identities and booking information are verified.”


Chinese mobile payments providers begin charging fees to users

Tencent’s WeChat widens service fee for users of ‘card repay’ feature in digital wallet — South China Morning Post — “In line with international practice, there are no free financial services. WeChat previously paid the credit card repayment fee for users, going forward the new fee chargeable to customers will support sustainable development [of the service],” said a Tencent spokesman in response to a request for comment.”


Chinese consumers have now deposited $150bn with Alipay and Tencent

PBOC to raise reserve funds ratio for third-party payment firms to 100% — Caixin — “The two largest third-party payment firms, Alipay and Tenpay, combined hold nearly 1tn yuan (US$151bn) of customers’ funds, about 90% of the total reserve funds… Reserve funds are prepayments from online shoppers held temporarily by payment companies that can then earn income on the cash by depositing it in banks or even buying government bonds… The requirement means payment firms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd backed Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s Tenpay can no longer invest money deposited by their respective clients.”


Chinese university pilots face recognition for campus access control

Peking University installs facial recognition system for students and staff on campus gate — South China Morning Post — “Anyone going through the southwestern gate of prestigious Peking University can now have their face scanned by a camera instead of showing their ID card to security guards under a trial run of the system that started on Wednesday… It is not the university’s first use of the technology on campus — it has already installed about two dozen facial recognition devices outside some of its libraries, classrooms, student dormitories, gymnasiums and computer centres.”


Digital currencies

Central bank patents point to plans for a hybrid digital currency in China

PBOC filings reveal big picture for planned digital currency — Coindesk — “The ultimate goal, according to PBOC’s patents, is to ‘break the silo between blockchain-based cryptocurrency and the existing monetary system’ so that the digital currency can sport cryptocurrency-like features, while being widely used in the existing financial structure.”


Chinese banks report strong growth in bank card usage

China has over 7bn bank cards — Xinhua — “China had issued 7.03bn bank cards by the end of 2017, meaning each Chinese person has about five cards on average… Last year, the number of transactions via bank cards rose 29.4% to 149bn, with a total of 735 trillion yuan (about US$113tn) swiped from bank cards. Consumption via bank cards accounted for 48.7% in China’s total retail sales of consumer goods.”


Beijing metro looks to biometrics to speed up payments at turnstiles

Beijing subways to get bio-ID system — China Daily — “Two bio-recognition technologies — facial recognition and palm touch — are being considered, said Zhang Huabing, head of enterprise development for Beijing Subway… Facial recognition technology can track passenger movements with cameras connected to online networks that recognize people when they enter a station, potentially allowing them to bypass traditional ticketing.”


Ant Financial to pivot away from Alipay?

Exclusive: Ant Financial shifts focus from finance to tech services: sources — Reuters — “Ant Financial Services Group, the dominant Chinese fintech company, is shifting its main focus to technology services and away from payments and consumer finance as Beijing’s crackdown on financial risk deepens, four sources with knowledge of the matter said… They said the move was propelled, in part, by growing regulatory pressure on Ant’s core financial businesses, including payments, micro lending, credit rating and wealth management.”


Ant Financial signs technology sharing deals with Chinese banks

Ant Financial to support Shanghai Pudong Development Bank’s digital transformation with financial grade technologies — Ant Financial — “The partnership will allow Ant Financial and SPD Bank to strengthen collaboration on a broad range of inclusive finance initiatives, from improving user experience while using online and offline payment services, to providing secure, convenient and efficient financial services for small and micro businesses… The agreement is the third of its kind announced this month between Ant Financial and established banks, following partnerships with Huaxia Bank and China Everbright Bank.”



Ant Financial raises $10bn at a $150bn valuation

China’s Ant Financial raises $10 billion at $150 billion valuation: sources — Reuters — “Ant Financial Services Group, operator of China’s biggest online payment platform by market share, Alipay, has closed its latest funding round having raised US$10bn from a clutch of global and local investors, five people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Ant’s first fundraising targeting global money values the firm at US$150bn, the people said, compared with about US$60bn after its previous fundraising in April 2016.”


Chinese banks report growth in mobile payments volumes

Chinese banks post robust growth in mobile payments — Xinhua — “Chinese banks posted robust growth in mobile payments in the first quarter of this year, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Banking institutions handled 70.8 trillion yuan (US$11.1tn) in mobile payments in the period, up 16.8% year on year, the central bank data showed. Around 10.7bn payments were made through the banks’ mobile services in the first quarter, an increase of 17.8% year on year.”


Beijing Metro begins accepting QR code mobile tickets at turnstiles

QR code smartphone tickets available for subway — China.org.cn — “Travellers in Beijing can now use a QR code on their smartphone as a ticket to ride the subway… Passengers can download an app called RuubyPay that generates a QR code ticket that can be read using a scanner built into the subway turnstiles. The QR code scanning app can be used on any smartphone running iOS or Android that is connected to the internet, according to Sina.com. Tickets can be paid for using a linked bank, Alipay, or JD Finance account.”



Chinese province uses Alipay QR codes for citizen ID

China to launch e-ID cards for citizens via phone QR codes — Asia Times — “China requires its citizens to produce ID cards for verification when checking in at a hotel, boarding a train or plane or accessing government services. Now with the e-ID card, a user can just tap an Alipay app to show their QR code for similar verification, while leaving their wallet or physical card at home.”


Central bank fines Alipay for breaching data protection regulations

Alipay is stepping up data protection after PBOC fine — Yicai Global — “Alipay, the fintech platform run by Ant Financial Services Group, is looking to improve its data collection processes after China’s central bank fined it for breaching data protection regulations… Alipay published misleading video campaigns and its collection of personal financial information failed to meet minimum security requirements, the regulator said, adding that the firm also used data inappropriately.”


Fake QR code payment scammers arrested in China

Chinese market targeted by scammers who set up fake QR codes to divert payments — South China Morning Post — “A food market in China has been targeted by scammers who used fake QR codes to divert mobile payments into their own account… Three men have been arrested on suspicion of printing out small pieces of paper with the QR codes on them and then sticking them over 60 codes used by traders in Nanjing… The three unemployed men — who were only identified by their surnames Zhao, Zhu and Zhang — reportedly told police they had been inspired by a friend who had made money this way.”


China goes live with QR payments spending cap

China caps store mobile payments at $80 — Nikkei Asian Review — “The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, implemented the caps on Sunday for different types of QR code payments, based on relative risk. For payments made by scanning a printed QR code displayed by the seller, the daily limit is set at 500 yuan (about US$80)… Such popular services as Alibaba Group Holding’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay are affected.”


See NFC World's full list of trials, pilots, tests and live services around the world...

Page 1 of 1812345...Last »